Denver Nuggets guard Gary Harris (14) ...
Rick Bowmer, The Associated Press
Denver Nuggets guard Gary Harris (14) drives around Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) in the first half during an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2017, in Salt Lake City.

Michael Malone joked he might need to hire a hypnotist to trick his Denver Nuggets into believing they are inside Pepsi Center over the next 10 days.

“We’re gonna turn the lights off in the locker room before the game,” Malone said. “ … I’ve got a guy to come with us that’s gonna (say), ‘You’re getting sleepy,’ and we’ll see if it works in Dallas.”

Turning to an unconventional approach might make some sense, given the sharp discrepancy in Denver’s play at home versus on the road. The Nuggets are 10-2 at home after topping the Los Angeles Lakers Saturday night, despite missing their entire normal starting frontcourt. But they’re 3-7 away from home and still searching for answers ahead of a six-game trip that begins Monday in Dallas.

“We’ve got to amp it up more,” reserve guard Will Barton said. “Everything we do, we’ve got to do it better, times 10. Defense. Ball movement. Trusting each other. And staying resilient.”

Following Monday’s matchup against the Mavericks, the Nuggets will travel to New Orleans, Orlando, Indiana, Detroit and Boston. Four of those teams entered Sunday over .500, with three in the playoff field. And Denver will likely be without center Nikola Jokic for at least the first couple games on the road due to a sprained ankle sustained in Thursday’s win over Chicago.

The Nuggets’ seven road defeats have come by an average of 18.1 points. Following last Tuesday’s 106-77 meltdown at Utah, coaches and players engaged in an open dialogue about why they are such a “different team” away from home.

They spoke about tangible on-court shortcomings like ball movement. Denver ranks third in the NBA in assists in home games (26.8) and 29th in road games (18.8). But they also acknowledged they must improve at mentally handling road environments, noting they feed off the building Pepsi Center buzz and don’t always have the same energy on the road.

“No one’s gonna be behind us. It’s just us,” Malone said. “We have to stay together, not get on each other, not panic.”

Added big man Kenneth Faried: “We’ve got to take the same pride that we do at home in electrifying the crowd that we do on the road in silencing them.”

The Nuggets boarded a charter plane Sunday afternoon and won’t see Denver again until Dec. 14. No word on whether a hypnotist tasked with tricking the players into believing they’re still inside the Pepsi Center joined the travel party.

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